The Real State of the State

We should be talking about Gavin Newsom’s State of the State today, but it seems with no good news to share, Newsom decided to punt on it. The uncertain outcome of Prop 1 – an effort that Newsom was the face of – is widely seen as the reason for the postponement. While Prop 1 could still barely squeak by, if the too-close-to-call ballot measure were to fail, it would be seen as “an embarrassment for Newsom,” “a huge setback for Newsom,” and “a setback he seemingly was unprepared to address.”

Nevertheless, we were promised a State of the State update today, and if Newsom isn’t interested in offering one, we are more than happy to help.

Budget: California is facing a $73 billion budget deficit. It seems years of reckless spending, misplaced legislative priorities and taxpayers  moving away by the hundreds of thousands isn’t actually the recipe for a healthy budget. Newsom managed to turn a record  $100 billion budget surplus just two years ago into a record budget deficit today.

Economy: California today has the nation’s second highest unemployment rate , just barely losing out on the top spot by .1%. At the same time, California ranks dead last in the nation for job growth. A recent PPIC  survey  found jobs, economy and inflation is the most important issue to Californians. Since Gavin Newsom took office, more than 200 businesses have left California – with a majority moving to red-state rival Texas.

Affordability: California continues to have among the highest costs of living in the nation and the nation’s highest median monthly housing costs. Housing costs  rank as one of the most important issues in California. Only 15% of California households can afford to buy a home. California is home to the four most expensive housing markets in the nation. High housing costs and an outrageous cost of living was a  driving force for many Californians deciding to leave the state. 

Homelessness: Despite spending $20 billion addressing homelessness, California continues to tower over other states when it comes to our homeless crisis. California holds more than 181,000 homeless people – more than any other state by far – and nearly 30% of the nation’s total. Those numbers were up nearly 6% from the previous year. Nearly half of the nation’s unsheltered population is in California. This population size is nearly eight times as large as the unsheltered population in the second-ranked state. 68% of California’s homeless population is unsheltered – the highest percentage in the nation.

Crime: Defying national trends, California’s violent crime  rate is 31% higher than the national rate and is  up 13% since 2019. This includes an  increase in aggravated assaults, robberies and rapes. Property crime also increased in California in 2022. Smash and grabs still seem to  make  daily  headlines in California. Business  owners  across  California continue to sound the alarm on how crime is hurting them, while in San Francisco’s once-bustling downtown shopping area, storefront after storefront continues to close their doors for good.

Outlook: Today, 57% of Californians think the state is heading in the wrong direction while 62% expect bad economic times in the next year, according to  PPIC. This is hardly a surprise since a majority of Californians also disapprove of Gavin Newsom’s job performance.

“With California continuing to top all the wrong lists, it’s hard to blame Gavin Newsom for not wanting to update Californians on his disastrous State of the State. Newsom’s failing agenda is hardly helpful to any California Democrat on the ballot this November. They’d all be better served if he actually focused on fixing the many problems he’s created at home instead of on unrealistic White House ambitions and on advancing radical, far-left policies that are destined to harm Californians.” – CAGOP Chairwoman Jessica Millan Patterson



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